The University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, the host university for the Southern Scuffle, announced its pre-seeds for the 2013 tournament - and it included zero persons with the last name Alton. Penn State's Alton brothers, Andrew ranked #5 at 149lbs, and Dylan ranked #5 at 157 lbs, are both national title contenders for the Ntitany Lions. Neither will apparently be making the trip due to the recent citations both 21-year old brothers received from the Lock Haven, PA law during a night out while on winter semester break.
Consequently, the #1 Nittany Lions, short two title threats, take a serious hit to their chances at a three-peat at winning this prestigious mid-season event. The Lions tied Cornell for 1st place in 2011, while winning the title outright in 2012. Now, 5th-year competitors Jim English (149 lbs) and Jim Vollrath (157 lbs) will be the lone representatives for the squad at the competition at their respective weights.
Jim English (Central York) won the National University Freestyle Championship 18 months ago at 63 kg (or maybe it was 67 kg - whatever), so he's no slouch by any means. English is working back from two years lost due to injury, and was recently granted a 6th year of eligibility from the ****heads at the NCAA. Jim Vollrath (Council Rock South) is a PSU wrestling legacy who's closing in on 100 career wins despite rarely holding a permanent place in the lineup. He last placed 7th at the Big Ten Championships for the Lions at 165 lbs, in 2011, helping his team to its first ever Big Ten title.
English gets the 10th pre-seed at 149 lbs, while Vollrath lands as the 5th pre-seed. Pre-seeds function differently that true bracket seeds in that coaches may make arguments on behalf of wrestlers before the offical brackets are released. While you may see a wrestler fall or rise a single spot, it's very unusual - particularly in non-conference, non-championship events - to see a wrestler move more than two (or, really, even a single spot considering all competitors). Based on these pre-seeds, it's clear that the host event managers respect both English and Vollrath but don't expect either to make the semi-finals.
Go prove 'em wrong, boys.
Stick with BSD to watch Galen live blog the event for PSU results Jan 1 and 2, as well as a bunch of fat guys drinking booze, eating potato chips and making jokes while claiming physical and mental superiority over guys that train year round. It's a hoot.
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